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There are commonalities within certain related viral families. But no, there are no universal viral genes, there are many reasons for this: Viral genomes in general are much smaller than the average cell genome and the pressure for selection against extraneous genes is high due to the need to be able to replicate as fast as possible within the host cell. ...


No, virus are polyphyletic and there are no genes that are common to all viruses. There may be similarities in capsid structure due to convergent evolution, but these are not universal. See Moreira and López-García (2009) for further detail.


There is viral DNA within our genomes. Embedded in the genomes of all vertebrates are the proviral remnants of previous retroviral infections. It is possible that some have conferred biological benefits. Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) represent the proviral phase of exogenous retroviruses that have integrated into the germ line of their host. They ...


If your first question means: why is later-life ageing usually a long and painful process of degradation (rather than why do we have existential agony) with diseases of ageing like osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia - then I can offer one answer. There is an absence (almost) of any selection pressure after reproductive age. Once individuals are past ...

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